There are a number of different plants and small trees called pata de vaca (cow's foot). They are all of the genus, Bauhinia and at least one is used in the treatment of diabetes. The one in the attached image is noted for its transformation into a very large, leafless vine called escada de jabuti (tortoise's ladder, or monkey's ladder). It's always a favorite show and tell plant at Bosque Santa Lucia. Lower image by Robert Dalton.